Tales from the American Frontier (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)

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9780394516820: Tales from the American Frontier (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)

Relates of such characters as Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Calamity Jane, Pecos Bill, and Jim Bowie

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Homespun yarns and tall tales ``edited, told, and retold'' by Erdoes (co-editor, American Indian Myths and Legends, 1984, etc.) in a problematic compilation of the legends that arose from the taming of the American wilderness. From the frontiers of the original colonies, this assortment of stories works its way westward across the 19th century, detailing encounters with two- and four-legged critters, natives, and most unusual natural phenomena. The famous figures of the West throughout the period, from Daniel Boone and Billy the Kid to Calamity Jane and Judge Roy Bean, find a proper place in episodes fashioned from dime novels and penny dreadfuls or culled from other sources, with mythical characters from both Native American and European traditions amply represented as well. In subjects ranging from cannibalism in the gold fields to the professional ethics of trappers, river boatmen, and loggers, through sagas of single combat and battles of wit that are generally hyperbolic and outrageous, the yarns reflect the nascent American spirit as well as the challenging circumstances from which it grew--but, unfortunately, overzealous recasting of the originals has produced much unnecessary commentary and a pervasive synthetic quality that dilutes and homogenizes the material instead of enhancing it. Meant to be a definitive collection but more often a derivative effort, unable to claim consistently either authenticity or a compelling originality. (B&w illustrations--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Erdoes ( Lakota Woman ) recounts a rip-roaring assortment of legends and lore from the Old West. The characters that populate his tales are larger than life, emanating from a land larger still, with seemingly unlimited horizons. In fact, says Erdoes, "the essence of American legends . . . is exaggeration," and this belief informs his stories of lost mines and mountain men, ghosts and gunfighters. A posse of heroes includes such luminaries as Billy the Kid, Paul Bunyan and Jim Bowie as well as lesser-known poker players, pioneers, prospectors et al. Readers may question the inclusion of multiple entries about men like Roy Bean or the wholly fictitious Deadwood Dick (a product of penny dreadfuls) while equally colorful and important figures (Bat Masterson, Poker Alice, Belle Starr) receive scant mention--some (Soapy Smith, Klondike Kate) none at all. Overall, the doings of women and minorities are underreported, and there are too few tales of Alaska and the Yukon for this volume to be truly representative of frontier folklore. Nevertheless, Erdoes successfully evokes an era when awaiting the word from the West was a national pastime, and shows us how and why legends are "history turned upside down."
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Pantheon Books, New York, NY, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. B/W Illustrations (illustrator). First Edition. (full book description) Pantheon Books, New York, NY, 1991. 1st Edition NEW, Hard Cover, Dust Jacket. Size=6.5"x9.5", 443pp(Biblio). B/W Illustrations. It's NEW!! NO ink names, DJ tears etc. It is a NEW copy. Price unclipped. ISBN 0394516826 20% OFF our regular catalogue price. SELLING WORLDWIDE since 1987. 99% OF OUR BOOKS ARE SHIPPED IN CUSTOM BOXES, WE ALWAYS PACK WITH GREAT CARE!. Book. Bookseller Inventory # CONROY101035I

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